- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

From combined dispatches

No. 5 VILLANOVA 69, GEORGE MASON 68: The first basket of Isaiah Armwood’s college basketball career was a big one.

The freshman hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, rallying the Wildcats (3-0) over the Patriots (2-1) on Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan.

“He was the last one I wanted to take the shot. I’ll be honest,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said.

The Wildcats trailed by 13 points in the first half and were behind 68-66 with time ticking down.

Armwood hit his only shot, connecting from the top of the arc. He played just four minutes, coming off the bench after Antonio Pena and Taylor King both fouled out.

“It felt good when it left my hand. It felt even better after the game,” Armwood said.

Wright, by the way, said Armwood now “definitely” has the green light to shoot away.

The Wildcats never led until late in the second half. They were down 67-63 in the final minute, then freshman Maalik Wayns hit a 3.

After Sherrod Wright made one of two free throws for George Mason, Armwood made his 3. The Patriots called timeout with 13 seconds left to set up their final shot but failed to get one off.

Scottie Reynolds scored 18 points despite relentless pressure from George Mason’s guards, who contributed to his eight turnovers. He said he was eager to improve in the second round of the tournament Friday.

“I’m going to have to watch the film, and I’ll come back better tomorrow,” he said.

Wright said he was surprised his team did not handle George Mason’s intensity better.

“They had a great game plan, and they did a great job on our guards,” he said. “We’re going to take this one and learn from it.”

Reynolds’ jumper with seven minutes left gave Villanova its first lead. Ryan Pearson responded with a basket for the Patriots.

Pearson led the Patriots with 14 points, and star guard Cam Long added 13 before leaving the game because of cramps. Andre Cornelius had 13.

George Mason coach Jim Larranaga, whose team led 37-28 at halftime, said he was happy with his team’s effort.

“With such a young team, the one thing I can’t do is be impatient with them,” he said.

Corey Fisher went 14-for-18 from the foul line and finished with 17 points for Villanova.

VIRGINIA 79, RIDER 46: Mike Scott had 17 points and nine rebounds, leading the Cavaliers (2-1) to a victory over the Broncs (2-1) at John Paul Jones Arena in the Cancun Challenge.

Virginia held Rider to 33.3 percent shooting (17-for-51), ending a fast start to the season that saw the Broncs average 87 points in beating Mississippi State and Lehigh.

Scott had 13 points in the first half, which ended with Virginia ahead 36-22.

The Cavaliers used a 14-3 run to start the second half to stretch the margin to 50-25 with 15 minutes left. The Broncs never got any closer, even when first-year Virginia coach Tony Bennett began emptying his bench midway through the second half.

Zeglinski added 12 points and Jeff Jones 11 for the Cavaliers.

The Broncs, who arrived with three players averaging 17.5 points or more, got nine points from Ryan Thompson, 8.5 below his average. Mike Ringgold had eight, more than 15 below his average, and Novar Gadson had just three, 17 off his norm. Brandon Penn scored 10.

Rider had stunned Mississippi State 88-74 in winning its opener for the first time since 2003, and then hit 16 3-pointers in an 86-71 victory against Lehigh on Monday night.

BUFFALO 63, NAVY 53: Calvin Betts scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals for the visiting Bulls (1-1) in their win over the Midshipmen (1-2) in Annapolis.

Mitchell Watt scored 13 points, John Boyer added 10 and Jawaan Alston had 10 rebounds for Buffalo.

Buffalo outrebounded the Midshipmen 42-32 and held Jordan Sugard, the defending Patriot League player of the week, to nine points and seven rebounds. Sugard had a combined 30 points and 24 rebounds in the Midshipmen’s games against Radford and Longwood.

Chris Harris scored 15 points, Romeo Garcia 12 and Mark Veazey 10 for Navy, which lost its fourth straight against teams from the Mid-American Conference.

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